Penn College Archers Have Sights Set on No. 1
Each of the past three years, the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team has climbed a rung on the national ladder, placing fourth in 2008, third in 2009 and second a year ago. Going into the U.S. Intercollegiate championships Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 20-21-22), its sights are on No. 1.
"So far, we've had a pretty good season, although it's been kind of rough with the weather the rain and the cold," coach Chad Karstetter said.
"They have to do a little bit (at nationals) to hit my expectations (for the season)," Karstetter continued. "Because we have such a great team, with the weather, we haven't been able to get outside and practice as much as I would have like to. And with finals these last two weeks, it's pretty tough to get everybody together to practice. We're a little bit below par for the season, but we still have been shooting very well.
"Our overall goal is to be No. 1 in the country. It's going to take as good of shooting as we had last year when we had a first-place men's compound team, a first-place men's recurve team and the women's compound team came in second. It's going to take those three teams shooting as well as they did and the women's recurve team (new this year) placing in the top five or six," continued the coach, in his 11th season.
Karstetter said he expects his toughest competition to come from perennial powerhouses James Madison University, which is hosting nationals, and Texas A&M, both of which generally have better spring weather in which to practice outdoors.
Competing for Penn College in the men's compound division will be Danny Wido, of Shickshinny; Zachary Plannick, of Coraopolis, and Aaron Lapinski, of Bloomsburg; in men's recurve will be Glen Thomas, of Mercer; Tyler Gale, of Kennedyville, Md., and Brandon Allison, of Roaring Spring; in women's compound will be Ashley Baker, of Coudersport; Julie Cain, of Bellefonte, and Kjirsten Radencic, of Liberty; and in women's recurve will be Ashley Mull, of Williamsport; Hilary Fisher, of Temple, and Allyson Hansell, of Gillett.
Although results of archers in the bowhunter division won't count toward team points, Kelvin Dewalt, of Easton, and Joe Dowdrick, of Lebanon, will be in the running for individual titles.
Wido has captured back-to-back individual national championships; Thomas was a champ last year, while Plannick placed second.
"Individually, we are going to be a strong force in all of the divisions. Right now, Danny Wido is ranked first in the country, Glen Thomas is first and Zack Plannick is second," Karstetter pointed out.
"The guys who have been around three or four years (Gale, Lapinski and Plannick are seniors and Wido, Thomas and Cain are juniors), they are going to do very well, and Allison, a compound archery who switched over to recurve, has done fabulous in the elimination rounds," the coach said.
Karstetter is hopeful that, between now and when the team leaves for Harrisonburg, Va., on Thursday, his archers can get in a lot of practice time on their own while away from school.
"Hopefully, they keep their heads in the game and get outside and shoot," Karstetter said, noting that, on Thursday, after the team checks in, archers will get three to four hours of practice time to fine-tune. "That day definitely will be a big help for us," the coach said.
The first half of qualifying is scheduled for Friday along with mixed team rounds. On Saturday will be the second half of qualifying and the official team rounds. Competition wraps up Sunday with individual elimination rounds.
Always the optimist, Karstetter even sees a silver lining in the poor weather his team has had to deal with this spring.
"We haven't burned ourselves out practicing. They're really excited about getting outside and shooting," he said. "My outlook is very positive on it. They are one of the top teams in the country and they are going to fare very well."
SCHEDULE/RESULTS Archery Thursday-Sunday, May 19-22 U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Vol. 9, No. 39